Death by Earthquake (Kit)

by Jules Older  

Inspired by the new California Academy of Sciences exhibit, EARTHQUAKE, we decided to check our earthquake kit.

Yes, we have one. We’re prudent Bay Area citizens, and like most Bay Area citizens, prudent and otherwise, we live on a fault line.

The Big One is coming and coming soon—more on that, below—so get your earthquake kit in order. We did.

But it had been how long since we put that kit together? Five years? No, more like eight. Maybe we ought to check it.

Maybe you should check yours. Ours came as something of a surprise.  

Eight years ago, we’d bought a large plastic bin that just fit the living room closet. In it, along with a few other items, we neatly packed canned beans and pesto, a can opener and plastic forks, crank-operated flashlight and radio, wipes and toilet paper, canned fruit and toothbrushes, candles and matches, disinfectant and Band-Aids, and, for reasons that now escape us, exactly forty-seven dollars. 

Sealed it up and stuck it in a cool, dry place next to the ski jackets. Should last forever. We’re earthquake-ready—rock on. 

Funny how fast eight years roll by. Until the Academy exhibit, we forgot all about our kit in a closet. Never opened it once.

Then, we did. Eight years later, it had shrunk… and grown.

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